It was great to hear from speaker Bernard Donoghue of ALVA on his perspective of the 2020 pandemic and how attractions can learn to recover in the coming months. I think our favourite part of the night was hearing about what flew and what flopped for farm parks across the UK in 2020. We’ve rounded up the flew and flopped points in case you missed it!
- Every park owner on the panel agreed that throughout the shutdown they we’re able to connect with their visitors on social media like never before. Sharing everything from animal updates, to tours of their park and live streams from animal enclosures. With many of them doubling their following during this time this is definitely a great way to continue connecting with visitors in 2021 and beyond.
- We’ve all been desperate to connect with others and when allowed make the most of our experiences. Another ‘flew’ is the uptake in animal adoptions and sponsorships at many farm parks. This was used as a way to not only connect with visitors but keep some income/cashflow whilst visitors couldn’t come onto the farm park site.
- Increased sales through online gift shops and local delivery ideas such as home baking kits and freshly prepared farm foods. Ecommerce sales through your farm park website is a great way to sell merchandise and keep an income flow whilst providing visitors a little piece of your park at home and keeping them engaged.
- Alternative use of their farm attraction space was another big hit. With many parks adopting new socially distanced drive through safaris or creating campsites for families to staycation on their land. This was a popular choice for many of the panellists who will keeping these in place moving forward.
- Online ticketing system to plan timed visits with event ticket management. We were thrilled to hear that many of the farm park owners on the panel were adopting and will continue to use event style timed ticketing for their park. This allows them to plan staff levels and prepare for visitor numbers on busy days. If you would like to hear more about how we have been helping farm parks with their online ticketing solutions please visit this page or book a demo to see how VisiSoft could help your park adopt a suitable and flexible ticketing solution built for farm attractions.
- Finally we wanted to highlight how important it was for many farm park owners to take some time to reflect on their site and how they had been running their attraction. As with anything when you are busy running a visitor attraction it can be difficult to time find to reflect on what you’re doing, maybe look at your reports and identify trends and where you could maximise sales and visitor experience moving forward. Or you might just enjoy the rest to do some general maintenance to your attraction, in any case we agree how important it is to understand your attraction and how you could adopt new strategies to help your attraction continue to grow. We believe in easy-to-use reports and dashboards are key to successful growth. By having all of you onsite EPOS connected to ticket sales, stock management, online gift shop sales and your accounts software you can build a picture of your park. VisiSoft can help you to understand what works in your park and give you the information to make powerful business decisions. – Find out more about our reporting tools here.
- Well the obvious one here is being shut down and having doors closed for weeks on end without any clear guidance for re-opening. Understandably this gave many parks a lot of uncertainty about what was next for them, many of them reducing team size or taking advantage of the Furlough scheme to help them through the lockdown.
- Reduced staff on site, with timed entry slots it is easier to plan staff levels, food and beverage stock levels and this lead to less staff actually being needed to work onsite.
We are proud to sponsor NFAN and the great work they are doing across the network for all farm park owners and trade members. If you’d like to find out a little bit more about how we’ve helped other NFAN members with their EPOS and Ticketing solutions then please check out our farm attractions page.
Want to see how VisiSoft could help your farm park in 2021 with EPOS and ticketing? Why not book a free demo with one of our EPOS specialists and see VisiSoft in action. You can take the time to understand more about why other NFAN members trust VisiSoft as their EPOS and ticketing partner and let us answer any questions you may have.